Bobby Hill
An Icon and an Inspiration

On the night before he was due to compete in powerlifting at the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games inGermany, Bobby Hill was marching up and down the bleachers at the Messe Berlin convention center while rallying spectators to cheer for his teammates.

So what if his legs were a bit fatigued the next day? Hill was delighting the crowd.

Hill has gained fame as the most accomplished Special Olympics athletes in Alaska history. But people also love him for his unlimited zeal. He engages a crowd like a master showman.

In the summer of 2023, at age 44, Hill endeared himself to spectators and fellow competitors in Berlin with his sportsmanship, energy and skill. Those tired legs? Not a problem. He came home with one gold and three silver medals.

The games marked Hill’s third appearance for Team USA at the World Games, where he has claimed 11 medals in powerlifting.

Hill is a fixture in Anchorage sports. Thousands of UAA and Alaska Aces hockey fans know him for the “Horseman” routine, where he uses a hockey stick as a stick horse to gallop around the rink while the William Tell Overture plays.

He spent 20 years as the manager of the Bartlett High football team, earning a citation as “an icon and an inspiration” from the Alaska Legislature in 2018.

Born in May 1979, Hill was diagnosed at birth with Down Syndrome. He became involved with Special Olympics when his military family moved to Anchorage in 1986. His father, Bob Hill, made it his mission to keep Bobby healthy and happy through sports.

“I don’t push him,” he said. “I’ll say, ‘Bobby, want to take a break?’ and he’ll say, ‘No, we gotta go.’‘’

— Beth Bragg

Winner of four powerlifting medals at the 2023 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Three-time Team USA member (2003, 2007, 2023) and 11-time powerlifting medalist at the Special Olympics World Games (3 golds, 8 silvers)

Winner of more than 100 medals at Alaska Special Olympics games – 74 gold, 25 silver, 9 bronze (2000-2023)

Charter inductee in Alaska Aces hockey team’s Hall of Fame

Never missed a game during 20 years as manager for the Bartlett High football team